The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Uganda to pay $325 million (Shs1.5 trillion) war reparations to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The award comes 16 years since DRC accused Uganda of invading its territory where they (Ugandan forces) caused atrocities in DRC as part of the Second Congo War (1998-2003) only covers one area in a conflict that involved nine states and 25 armed groups that left millions dead and displaced.
The case started on June 23, 1999, the DRC instituted respective proceedings in the ICJ against its eastern neighbors Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda relating to violations of international law in the context of the Great Lakes conflict.
It had sought $11Billion from this case only to be reduced to $325 million.
In the ruling, ICJ noted that the reparation awarded to the DRC for damage to persons and to property reflects the harm suffered by individuals and communities as a result of Uganda’s breach of its international obligations.
“In this regard, the Court takes full cognizance of, and welcomes, the undertaking given by the Agent of the DRC during the oral proceedings regarding the fund that has been established by the Government of the DRC, according to which the compensation to be paid by Uganda will be fairly and effectively distributed to victims of the harm, under the supervision of organs whose members include representatives of victims and civil society and whose operation is supported by international experts,” reads part of the ruling
“In distributing the sums awarded, the fund is encouraged to consider also the possibility of adopting measures for the benefit of the affected communities as a whole,” it adds.
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